In the genre of family-friendly CGI animated movies, the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise is easily among the most beloved and successful. The four films released to date (including the ‘Minions’ spin-off) have already garnered over $3 billion worldwide, making it one of the most lucrative animated franchises of all time. So what gives DM its widespread appeal? The legion of unintelligible but lovable Twinkie-like minions, surely, but let’s not give the other characters short shrift because DM is a family affair with Gru, Lucy and the three girls who give the franchise its heart.
DM3 sees villain-turned-agent Gru (Steve Carell, voiced by that is) foil the pink diamond-thieving ‘80s supervillain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), only to be fired by the new head of the Anti-Villain League for failing to apprehend him. Along with Lucy (Kristen Wiig), who resigned A-VL in protest as a show of solidarity, and his three adopted girls, Gru visits his long-lost twin brother in the kingdom of Freedonia and is tempted to return to the life of supervillainy he thought he left behind until Bratt re-enters the picture and successfully steals the pink diamond to power his giant robot for the purpose of destroying Hollywood in revenge for canceling his ‘80’s TV show. And that, my dear readers, is the story of DM3 in a rather compact nutshell.
I won't lie to you. The “laws of diminishing returns” is at work in DM3 here. The story isn’t all that great and the series is suffering a bit of fatigue. But that’s to be expected and perhaps unavoidable in the final analysis. What’s important is that DM3 should give fans of the DM franchise what they wanted and keep them happy, and it did that admirably well considering the fact that it made nearly $450 million worldwide after only its second weekend. As for me personally, what I particularly liked about DM3 are its throwback ‘80s soundtrack and Japanese-inspired Giant Robot mayhem.